I usually paint plein air alla prima, carrying around an El Greco half-size
(backpack model) mahogany French easel. However, for those needing more
convenience in getting themselves back into painting or perhaps want
something neat to be able to award that special student, I'm going to
recommend visiting this site-
Its making a "Pochade Box"...pochade being the French word for "sketch.."
and the box was for the purpose of doing small on site painting sketches.
Its compact. Can be thrown in a suitcase or travel bag. It holds small
paint panels or boards in its lid. You can put an attachment on the bottom
that would click into or mount on a camera's tripod should you like.
There are generally made from empty wooden cigar boxes. I make it a habit
to stop at a Cigar/tobacco magazine shop when I visit Green Bay, and as they
sell out a supply of cigars from a box...they usually set them aside to sell
for $6-$10 each. The boxes are sturdy and neat looking. You usually have
to replace the hardware, and I add a lid support hardware for strength.
These boxes can easily sit on an armrest in a van, your lap, a picnic table,
and you put in these just what you need to do a quick small painting study.
My pochade box carries the small tubes of oils, trimmed lengths off a few
easel brushes, as well as a small bottle of medium and small palette knife.
The convenience of it may be just the ticket to get some here back into
painting, or started if you never have. They are indescreet, and allow you
to experience painting from life. Confidence then leads to larger easels